There's a problem with people parking the wrong way on residential Hamilton streets, but the city isn't going to do anything about it. For now.

The city policy is to only ticket motorists parked in the wrong direction on side streets if someone complains. Hamilton police are more proactive about it — they ticket when they notice it. And neither is going to change.

The issue came to the city planning committee on Tuesday. Staff recommended encouraging police to adopt the city approach — to only ticket on a complaint basis. But in the end, committee members only received the report as information.

It's still a problem that needs to be addressed, said Coun. Terry Whitehead, who represents Ward 8 on the Mountain. It's common to see cars parked on the wrong side of the street in his ward.

"I don't think people should be parking on roads facing the wrong way, period," he said. "I certainly get complaints. It creates confusion and it creates a challenge and a bottleneck in a number of areas."

Since the 1960s, the city has only enforced wrong-way parking upon complaint. It only proactively tickets motorists parked the wrong way on one-way streets or arterial streets where there are solid yellow or white dividing lines, where it presents a safety hazard.

In 2012, the city received 417 complaints. Hamilton Police Service issued 1,771 parking tickets for the offence, which netted about $46,000.

The city temporarily examined being even more lenient on wrong-way parkers. In January, Coun. Chad Collins asked the city to investigate only prohibiting parking the wrong way on one-way streets or roadways with painted centre lines.

But staff recommended not doing that, as it would require adjusting street signage.

In the past five years, there has been one collision associated with someone parking the wrong way on a residential street.

The decision will be ratified at a council meeting June 26, where it may be discussed again, Whitehead said.